Report: Taxpayers funding animal tests for homemade abortions

by WorldTribune Staff, June 29, 2017

U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for animal tests using substances that are widely known to be used as a way to induce “herbal abortions,” a report said.

The watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, citing government data from the National Toxicology Program (NTP), said two herbs on the program’s animal testing list – black cohosh and dong quai – are used in homemade abortions.

The National Toxicology Program (NPT) is engaged in hundreds of planned and ongoing animal tests for pesticides, industrial chemicals, foods, natural supplements and even cosmetics.

When the herbs are taken together it is similar to a “coat hanger abortion done in an alley,” a labor and delivery nurse told White Coat’s Alyssa Hackbarth.

According to the Livestrong website: “Some women use a combination of black cohosh, blue cohosh and dong quai to induce a miscarriage or abortion. The amount of herbs needed to induce miscarriage varies and some women may experience a miscarriage immediately and some women may not miscarry at all. Inducing a miscarriage without a physician’s supervision is dangerous and can result in an incomplete miscarriage, in which parts of the fetus can remain inside the uterus.”

The NTP is either conducting or planning to conduct nine separate poisoning tests on animals for dong quai, Hackbarth said in a June 28 report in The Weekly Standard.

One of the tests is for “developmental toxicity,” which requires force-feeding pregnant rats massive doses of the compound and then killing the animals, cutting out their fetuses and dissecting them.

For black cohosh, 12 different animal toxicity tests have already been conducted and another is in the works, the report said.

More than 60 lawmakers in Congress are backing a bill, the Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT) Act, that would improve disclosure by federal agencies about the hundreds of ongoing taxpayer-funded animal tests.

The FACT Act will require NTP and other agencies to publicly report how many animals they use in toxicity testing, and for what purposes.

“ ‘Science’ shouldn’t mean running grotesque and cruel tests of backdoor abortifacients on animals,” Hackbarth said.

Hackbarth noted that the animal tests are likely “a waste of money.”

According to Science magazine: “Animal-based testing is expensive and time-consuming, morally and ethically troubling, and most significantly, often a poor predictor of human toxicity.”

The Science article said that modern testing methods like in vitro tests (tests performed outside a living organism) can cost 30 times less than animal testing and take weeks, instead of months or years.

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